Former Hardees Renovation Under Way
The former Hardees restaurant on Presque Isle Avenue, which Northern purchased about two years ago, is being renovated to house both Temaki and Tea and a Smoothie King franchise. The work is scheduled to be completed by mid-February, but the university will continue operating the Temaki location in C.B. Hedgcock at least through the end of the academic year while Auxiliary Services plans a replacement.
“We needed an alternative location for Temaki and Tea with larger prep, cooking and seating spaces to handle the increased consumer demand,” said Art Gischia (Business and Auxiliary Services). “There were also issues with gas capacity and grease trap locations that would have made remodeling the Hedgcock space problematic.
“When no community developers expressed an interest in leasing the former Hardees, we explored our own options. The building combines everything we’ve been looking for: a campus dining option on the east side, which goes along with the university’s master plan for Presque Isle development; more interior space; a drive-through window; and adequate parking. It will also be a lounge atmosphere that could serve as a late-night, non-alcoholic study space if student traffic supports that.”
The renovation project will be funded by Auxiliary Services revenue. Gavin Leach (Finance and Administration) said the operation will be self-sustaining and provide hands-on educational opportunities for NMU hospitality management students. He added that the equipment and furnishings planned for the building are loose and portable so they could be moved elsewhere, if needed.
Temaki and Tea’s Japanese-style cuisine will be complemented by Smoothie King’s custom-blended drinks. According to the company website, the smoothies are made with real fruit, pure juices and nutritional supplements.